If you’re anything like me, you’ll be able to reel off at least 100 reasons why today is not the best day to exercise or go for a run. Number one, it’s winter. It’s cold, and if I step outside my nose will start to run. Second on the list is I simply don’t have the time. Or, quite frankly, the energy.
Excuses, however, are just that. After all, there are plenty of other mums out there who find both the time and the energy to run and exercise regularly.
Twenty months ago, almost to the day, I welcomed my eldest daughter into the world. Today, my youngest turns seven weeks. It’s been a busy time for child rearing, and I’m possibly (read definitely) guilty of using both my pregnancies and my lack of sleep as excuses not to exercise.
Today, however, the excuses stopped, and I dragged myself, my mother (she’s visiting from the UK) and my two girls to the park to take part in my first ‘Mums and Bubs Fitness’ session in nearly a year. Yes, it was cold, but according to scientists at the University of California, exercising in colder weather triggers the release of brown fat stored in our bodies, which, unlike white fat, actually consumes calories and helps us lose weight. Good news for a new mum like me, and added motivation on a cold winter’s day.
With the only form of exercise I’d performed in a year being squats to pick up my toddler / my toddler’s toys, this morning’s session was designed to ease me back into training … gently. Having committed to the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Half Marathon in just 14 week’s time, however, I have an urgent need to get fit, and get running.
Since I first became a mum, Mums and Bubs Fitness has provided the easiest forum for me in which to exercise. My local session, which is run by Amanda Bauer from Feel Alive Fitness and Personal Training, brings together a small number of mums, along with our children who are aged anywhere from newborn to pre-school. We meet once or twice a week, for an hour at a time, and work on our overall fitness and strength.
After an initial warm-up run (which I have to admit went better than expected, despite the dripping nose and wind-chapped ears), today’s session revolved around Metafit (which, after 30 minutes, I came to believe was invented just to torture me).
“Metafit is a 30 minute high intensity interval training program, that sets the metabolism on fire,” Amanda told me during our session. “It’s a great workout that is fun, effective and gets awesome results, and it’s suitable for all fitness levels.”
And she’s got a point. Whilst I was cleared for exercise by my doctor at my six week check, there are some exercises I, and any new mum, need to be wary of, especially given the muscle separation that can happen after pregnancy and childbirth. Amanda’s workout had me covered and she was able to adapt the core exercises in particular to suit my situation.
Of course, my workout was interrupted by Jess, my toddler, climbing on my back whilst I struggled to hold the plank; and Eva, my newborn, needing her dummy inserting on more than one occasion. But we did it, and, with 14 weeks to go, I have taken the first step towards my goal of completing the half marathon in September.
Lizzy Fowler | Friday 19 June, 2015
Originally from the UK, journalist and writer Lizzy Fowler relocated to Australia with her husband in 2008. Before becoming a Mum in 2013, Lizzy was the associate editor at leading lifestyle magazine MiNDFOOD, and was the founding editor of Sydney’s Live East magazine and babyandtoddlermagazine.com. Now a mum to two young girls, Lizzy balances working-from-home with the full time care of her children.